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Juvenile Justice Process and Corrections

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Juvenile Justice Process and Corrections
Journal Entry
Today I got caught up once again. This life is tough, living in the projects, not having or even knowing my father, and my mom is always working. She has two jobs and I never really see her. I try to stay out of trouble, but for some reason always find my way back to it. My name is Xander, I’m only 17, and tonight I know I have disappointed my mom again. I have a long rap sheet already at this young age, everything from robberies to possession of narcotics and burglary. I guess I just don’t learn my lesson. I was hanging out with some of my friends from the block and one of them told me to hold a gun. I told him I didn’t want to, since I have been already locked up in for a year in juvenile hall. I get caught again they may charge me as an adult or longer jail time in juvenile hall. He then told me if I were down for the gang I would hold it. Pretty much made me take the gun from him and place it in side my pants. I couldn’t say no, plus we needed protection. We cant just hangout in the streets and not have protection from our rivals.
I was inside my buddy’s car when we got pulled over. We were all on probation, and had some weed visible in a cup holder. The cop pulled us out of the car. I ran, I’m on probation and have a gun on me. The cops chased me and found me in bushes. It all happened so fast that I forgot to throw the gun out. He searched me and found the gun in my waistband. That could’ve gone a lot worse if I went for it, but a little jail time for possessing the gun is better then trying to shoot my way out. They arrested me and took me to the police station. When they found out I was a juvenile they logged me in and placed me in the juvenile holding tank. They called my mom right away and let me talk to her. That’s part of their procedure for us juveniles. I told her what had happened, she was very upset with me. I can tell she was disappointed again.
I thought they were going to just give me a citation and release me to my mom but they didn’t. They told me since I have a lot of prior charges, and this gun charge was a serious one, they are going to take me to juvenile hall again. When we got there the cops took me to the detention officer and gave them some paperwork. I was charged with 602WIC /25031 PC Carrying a Loaded Firearm. I didn’t know what 602 WIC meant, when I asked the detention officer he said it’s a juvenile code that means the crime I committed would still be a crime if I were over 18.
After waiting a few hours I got to sit down with a probation officer. He looked over my rap sheet, and asked me some personal questions about my life, school, and family. He then put me in a holding area. I was at the juvenile hall for a few days. They sent my mom the information of my charge and a notice about my first court hearing, which is called a “detention hearing”. At this hearing the judge will decide if I can go home, or stay until the next hearing. They sent me home with my mom.
We went to the pre-trial, this is when they decide if it should continue to trial or try and fix the problem there. I pled not guilty to the charge, so it did not stop at the pre-trial, it will continue. My next hearing was called the “jurisdiction hearing”. At this hearing my lawyer spoke to me and advised me on what to say in court. The District Attorney built a case against me to prove my guilt. My lawyer then built a case to defend me. There was enough evidence against me so the judge decided I was guilty of the crime I had committed. The judge then made a “true finding” meaning what I was accused of was in fact true. The judge then set a time for my “disposition hearing”. This hearing is set to decide what type of punishment I will receive from the court. At this hearing the judge could give me different punishments, anything from formal probation, in formal probation, jail time, and even boot camps. The judge decided on ordering me to a probation camp for a year. He had told me that the reason for this sentence was because of my rap sheet, I had already spent a year in juvenile hall and he wanted to see if camp would help me more then being locked up in a detention center. When I get out of the probation camp I will still be on supervised probation for six months with a ankle bracelet and have to do counseling with my mom. After all that is done the probation officer will have to write to the judge and inform him of my choices and if I have behaved. I’m done making my moms life harder then it already is. I honestly hope that this will help change me, and steer me in the right direction (Guide To Juvenile Court, 2015).

Reference:
- “Guide to Juvenile Court”, (2015). Retrieved from; www.courts.ca.gov

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